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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2021

Luigi Rullo

The article investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and deepened the presidentialization of politics in Italy. It examines how a series of innovative rules…

Abstract

Purpose

The article investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and deepened the presidentialization of politics in Italy. It examines how a series of innovative rules and procedures adopted by the Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to face the extraordinary event are part of a permanent presidentialization dynamic.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyzes the role of prime minister in coping with the pandemic in Italy within the analytical framework of the personalization of politics. Section 1 investigates how the prime minister has resorted to autonomous normative power through intensive use of the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers (DPCM). Section 2 observes the establishment of a more direct relationship with citizens through extensive use of digital communication and high engagement. Section 3 analyzes the “personal task force” appointed by the prime minister and highlights a new balance between technocratic/private roles and politics undermining democratic accountability.

Findings

By examining three main aspects of the personalization of politics, the article observes that the COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated the movement to presidentialization of power in Italy. It argues that the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened political and institutional trends already in place before the crisis.

Originality/value

The article expands the comparative research on the presidentialization of politics. The Italian case clearly underlines how the pandemic crisis represented a further step of progressive dominance of the “executive” over the other branches of government. The article suggests an agenda for future cross-institutional and cross-national analysis.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2018

Jenny Bronstein, Noa Aharony and Judit Bar-Ilan

The purpose of this paper is to understand the use of Facebook by Israeli party leaders during an election period by examining four elements: the type of Aristotelian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the use of Facebook by Israeli party leaders during an election period by examining four elements: the type of Aristotelian language of persuasion; the level of online engagement measured by three different types of feedback: likes, comments and shares; the use of personalization elements as engagement strategies; and the vividness features used in the post (text, photographs and video).

Design/methodology/approach

All of the posts from the Facebook pages of ten Israeli party leaders were collected for 45 days prior to the 2015 general elections. The number of posts, likes, comments and shares in each post were captured and the data were analyzed looking for elements of Aristotelian persuasion and of online engagement with the users.

Findings

The dominance of pathos was a salient element in the data demonstrating the politicians’ need to create an affective alliance with the public and it was the element that resulted in a higher number of likes, shares and comments. Only a few relationships were found and these do not point to a clear relationship between multimedia use and social media engagement. The interactive, open and free nature of social networking sites contributes to their development as a new type of political podia that allow politicians to produce a different kind of political communication. Instead of using these sites as platforms to disseminate their ideas, plans and strategies, politicians focus their interactions with the audience on the creation and maintenance of affective alliances.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the existing literature on the subject by examining four characteristics of the politicians’ personal profiles on social networks simultaneously while most of the past studies have focused on only one or two of these characteristics.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 70 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Stamatis Poulakidakos

Through social media communities, politicians communicate personal or even private information and seek to take advantage of the possibilities to connect with both…

Abstract

Through social media communities, politicians communicate personal or even private information and seek to take advantage of the possibilities to connect with both influential personalities and ordinary people. Politicians' Instagram use can be understood as a way of producing visual flows of professional, personal and private practices.

The current research seeks to compare the ways in which the leaders of the three major political parties in Greece (New Democracy, SYRIZA and KINAL) form their ‘image’ through their Instagram posts during a multiple consecutive elections (pre-)electoral period (2019 European, Prefectural/Municipal and general elections) and a nonelectoral period (2018), in order to trace similarities and differences in the communication strategies of the abovementioned politicians during these periods. Among others, politicians post private aspects of their lives during both periods; they focus predominantly on the formation of a positive self-image, instead of attacking their political opponents and increase the number of personal images during the (pre-)electoral period of our study.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Digital Media in Greece
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-401-2

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Sanne Kruikemeier, Guda van Noort, Rens Vliegenthart and Claes H. de Vreese

The purpose of this paper is to examine the causal relationship between interactive and personal campaigning on social media and political involvement, and the mechanisms…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the causal relationship between interactive and personal campaigning on social media and political involvement, and the mechanisms that explain the effects. Specifically, this study examines whether personal and interactive communication on Twitter increases political involvement among citizens through social presence and perceived expertise.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental design – a 2 (low vs high interactivity)×3 (depersonalized vs individualized vs privatized communication) between-subjects design – is used.

Findings

The findings show that interactive communication leads to a stronger sense of social presence and source expertise, which positively affect involvement. The effects of personal campaigning differ. Individualized communication positively affects involvement via source expertise. Interestingly, privatized communication positively affects involvement via social presence, but negatively via source expertise.

Originality/value

Although a growing body of work examines the political consequences of social media, there is still very little understanding why social media affect citizens. The current study fills this void by investigating how the use of social media affects political involvement among citizens.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 November 2020

Anna Molnár, Lili Takács and Éva Jakusné Harnos

Politicians' response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide relied on war scenarios having a tradition in disease management. The study contrasts…

Abstract

Purpose

Politicians' response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide relied on war scenarios having a tradition in disease management. The study contrasts how the political measures introduced during the state of emergency were presented by the Prime Minister of Hungary in his social media posts and his speeches and announcements broadcast by public media.

Design/methodology/approach

A computer-assisted content analysis was conducted to extract data on war and military metaphors, followed by a qualitative analysis of the metaphor scenarios used for explaining the situation and justifying action. The role of the prime minister (PM) indicated by the social media posts and by his transcripted speeches was compared with the suggestion of the visual illustrations.

Findings

The study’s findings were that verbal communication shifted between war-related metaphoric to military-related realistic. The third conceptual domain identified was fear. Messages were mostly about national cohesion, however, visually, the PM was the protagonist of the events. The communication proved efficient according to opinion polls.

Originality/value

The research revealed how the securitization of the pandemic took place via the political discourse constructed both for Internet users and traditional media consumers. Metaphors of fear, war and military action created the justification of the declaration of a state of emergency. The PM as a capable and responsible leader was placed in focus of the events. Although verbal messages by the PM were centred on a sense of community and joint action, the personalization of political action was remarkable by indirect means, such as visual messages. The personalization of politics throughout the period researched served the purpose of securitization of the pandemic with the PM as a charismatic leader attracting attention and giving credit to the severity of the threat along with the introduction of extraordinary measures.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2014

Maria Elisabetta Lanzone

The chapter analyzes the characteristics of a new political subject, the Five Star Movement, which arose in Italy in 2005 (as local civil lists), was officially…

Abstract

The chapter analyzes the characteristics of a new political subject, the Five Star Movement, which arose in Italy in 2005 (as local civil lists), was officially constituted in 2009, and became the most voted-for party in the 2013 general election, when the country was hit by a strong surge of populism. This party was founded by the Italian comedian Beppe Grillo and launched via his Internet blog. The chapter will be divided into five parts: a brief introduction about the general context and a description of the Italian political framework and the general crisis of traditional parties, setting the scene from which the discussion will develop. Then, in Section “‘People against the Parties’: The Five Star Movement’s Populist Messages,” I will describe the global characteristics of the Five Star Movement, with an analysis of Grillo’s party communication style, especially its use of social media, its people call (with its enemies), and its mobilization strategies. In Section “Inside the Movement: The Party’s Structural Characteristics,” I will describe the party’s internal organization, in order to underline some controversial elements. In the conclusion I will hazard some hypotheses about the party’s destiny, compared to other populist examples.

Details

The Many Faces of Populism: Current Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-258-5

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Book part
Publication date: 8 November 2019

Ioanna Ferra

Abstract

Details

Digital Media and the Greek Crisis
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-328-9

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

Mohamed Metawe

This paper aims to contend that populism is damaging to both domestic and international politics; not only does it erode liberal democracy in established democracies but…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contend that populism is damaging to both domestic and international politics; not only does it erode liberal democracy in established democracies but also fuels authoritarianism in despotic regimes and aggravates conflicts and crises in international system.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is divided into two main sections. First, it examines how populist mobilization affects liberal democracy, and refutes the claims that populism is beneficial and reinforcing to democracy. Second, it attempts to demonstrate how populism is damaging to domestic politics (by undermining liberal democracy and supporting authoritarianism) as well as international relations (by making interstate conflicts more likely to materialize). Theoretically, populism is assumed to be a strategy used by politicians to maximize their interest. Hence, populism is a strategy used by politicians to mobilize constituents using the main features of populist discourse.

Findings

The research argues that populism has detrimental consequences on both domestic and international politics; it undermines liberal democracy in democratic countries, upsurges authoritarianism in autocratic regimes and heightens the level of conflict and crises in international politics. Populism can lead to authoritarianism. There is one major undemocratic trait shared by all populist waves around the world, particularly democracies; that is anti-pluralism/anti-institutions. Populist leaders perceive foreign policy as the continuation of domestic politics, because they consider themselves as the only true representatives of the people. Therefore, populist actors abandon any political opposition as necessarily illegitimate, with repercussions on foreign policy.

Originality/value

Some scholars argue that populism reinforces democracy by underpinning its ability to include marginalized sectors of the society and to decrease voter apathy, the research refuted these arguments. Populism is destructive to world democracy; populists are reluctant to embrace the idea of full integration with other nations. Populists reject the idea of open borders, and reckon it an apparent threat to their national security. The research concludes that populists consider maximizing their national interests on the international level by following confrontational policies instead of cooperative ones.

Details

Review of Economics and Political Science, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2356-9980

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Tal Samuel-Azran, Moran Yarchi and Gadi Wolfsfeld

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the mapping of the social media discourse involving politicians and their followers during election campaigns, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the mapping of the social media discourse involving politicians and their followers during election campaigns, the authors examined Israeli politicians’ Aristotelian rhetoric on Facebook and its reception during the 2013 elections campaign.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examined the Aristotelian rhetorical strategies used by Israeli politicians on their Facebook walls during the 2013 elections, and their popularity with social media users.

Findings

Ethos was the most prevalent rhetorical strategy used. On the reception front, pathos-based appeals attracted the most likes. Finally, the results point to some discrepancy between politicians’ campaign messages and the rhetoric that actually gains social media users’ attention.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate that Israel’s multi-party political system encourages emphasis on candidates’ credibility (ethos) in contrast to the prevalence of emotion (pathos) in typical election campaigns in two-party systems like the USA. One possible explanation is the competitive nature of elections in a multi-party system where candidates need to emphasise their character and distinct leadership abilities.

Practical implications

Politicians and campaign managers are advised to attend to the potential discrepancy between politicians’ output and social media users’ preferences, and to the effectiveness of logos-based appeals.

Originality/value

The study highlights the possible effect of the party system on politicians’ online rhetoric in social media election campaigns.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Varsha Jain, Christopher Pich, B.E. Ganesh and Guja Armannsdottir

The extant literature demands more insights into the elements for political branding in India. Thus, this paper aims to explore political branding in terms of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The extant literature demands more insights into the elements for political branding in India. Thus, this paper aims to explore political branding in terms of the influences of political branding.

Design/methodology/approach

The context is the young voters in an emerging country, India. Qualitative research was undertaken, and a total of 17 focus group discussions were conducted in the leading Indian cities.

Findings

This study found that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) developed a strong governance and connection with the people. This approach developed a comprehensive brand among the young voters, who emphasized on the proof of the performance by the party. During pre or post-election, the BJP and other political parties need to develop a comprehensive political branding plan to connect with the voters.

Research limitations/implications

This study was focused on the external perspective of political branding. Future research can focus on the internal perspective in terms of party members and politicians. This study has focused on India as a specific case. Future studies can focus on a cross-cultural and cross-national level.

Practical implications

The framework developed can be used by political parties and leaders to develop their political brand. The study’s framework can be used in a systematic and sequential format to verify the strength of their political branding exercise.

Originality/value

This study focuses on the post-election scenario. Secondly, it focuses on the non-Western context. Also, the study represents a unique combination of the best theories and observations from political marketing and digital leadership.

Details

Journal of Indian Business Research, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4195

Keywords

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